UNDER THE DOME Finds Its Way To Broadcast TV

Stephen King's massive tome, originally developed at Showtime, has been given a 13-episode order on CBS.

Under the Dome, Stephen King's 2009 The Stand-lite small town Armageddon tale, has been given a 13-episode order at CBS after the initial development at Showtime fell through. The book tells the story of a sleepy burg in Arizona (just kidding! It's in Maine) that is quite suddenly encased in a colossal, impenetrable dome.

The book is almost entirely terrific, made up of those wonderfully precise characterizations for which King is lauded before he blows it all on one of those silly, bombastic endings for which he is criticized. Like so many of King's epic (in length if not in significance) tales, it would make a great television series, as the overarching story is made up of smaller, episodic arcs that often stick their own specific landing in a way the novel as a whole does not. 

What works about Under the Dome is the way it escalates, as the townspeople all react to their abrupt quarantine with fear and often violence, with the book's Big Bad taking the shape of an overweight, hyper-religious car dealership owner who uses the catastrophe to gain Patriot Act-levels of control over the frightened citizens. 

The last report we received is that Ex Machina and Y: The Last Man writer Brian K. Vaughn would be handling the adaptation for Showtime, which is obviously excellent news because Vaughn is a great writer in general and a great end-of-days writer in particular. And, as Devin wrote in his post, Vaughn wrote two beautiful, poignant endings for those stories, so hopefully he could craft a more appropriate and deserving conclusion to King's tale. With the series moving to CBS after Showtime's president passed on the project, Vaughn is still executive producing and penning the series, with Stephen King, Neal Baer and some other folks producing alongside him.

CBS is teaming up with Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment for the series, slated to be released Summer 2013. Steven and Stephen last paired up on The Talisman, so this is a pretty big deal. But to me, the best part of the news remains that Vaughn "might even lay the groundwork for a different outcome than the novel’s ending," because shit yeah. Change that ending, dude.